becoming an american african, or what peace corps didn’t tell me about re-integration

girlwithgumption peace corps senegal, washinngton dc, usa

Peace Corps admin tries very hard to prepare their volunteers for re-entry. When the end of our service nears, they even pay for us to spend two days at a nice hotel plying us with resources to help us with re-integration. These resources are supposed to help us wrap up our service into nice little boxes and one again become …

staging

girlwithgumption peace corps senegal, washinngton dc, usa

Before leaving for our assigned countries all Peace Corps Trainers must first report to a U.S. city for “staging”.  Staging is essentially an orientation session.  The two days are filled with a couple of icebreakers, immunizations, and sessions on Peace Corps policies. The current staging numbers: Number of airports – 5 Number of delayed flights – 2 Number of vaccinations …

life is calling…

girlwithgumption peace corps senegal, washinngton dc, usa

Tears stream down my face as the speed of the airplane taking off pushes me back into my seat.  I get one final glimpse of the beautiful Columbia River.  Inhale. Exhale. As the lush, evergreen landscape below transforms into dry brown Midwestern fields—my sadness slowly becomes excitement.  Inhale. Exhale.  This is it.  The beginning of the rest… It’s tough to …